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Watertown woman dies after Coffeen Street house fire

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A 93-year-old woman died after suffering burns in a fire at 717 Coffeen St. late Friday.

Ida E. Alteri was taken to Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, where she later died, according to a death notice submitted to the Times by D.L. Calarco Funeral Home.

Mrs. Alteri, widow of Steve D. Alteri and former Eighth Ward supervisor on the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors and Watertown city councilwoman, was found in a first-floor room of her 2-story home, according to the Watertown Fire Department.

The blaze, which was discovered at 10:52 p.m., was determined to be related to an undersized extension cord, according to the Fire Department.

The fire, which neighbors suspected had been smoldering for some time, was discovered by a passing motorist who saw both smoke and flames in the dwelling, built in 1905, according to city property records. City fire units arrived to find the blaze concentrated on the first floor, although damage extended into the upper level of the structure.

Firefighters removed Mrs. Alteri from the house and administered first aid until Guilfoyle Ambulance personnel took over treatment and rushed her to Samaritan Medical Center. Sometime after midnight, she was taken from the emergency room for transport to Syracuse, according to a city hospital supervisor.

The fire originated in the living room, the Fire Department reported. City police and the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control assisted the department in its investigation. The fire scene was cleared at 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

Steve Alteri and Ida E. Zomponti were married Dec. 16, 1945, and according to Polk city directories, they became the owners and residents of the house in 1950. Their son, Steven J. Alteri, assumed ownership in April 2008, according to city property records.

The elder Mr. Alteri died March 27, 1995, at the age of 81.

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